So I just wanted to freshen up the site with a quick overview of what’s happening this evening and table set for tomorrow morning, when we should begin to give some more confident answers on impact risks to our area.
I want to point out some of the key features to watch on a water vapor satellite image.
First, over the Desert Southwest, you can sort of see yellow color lifting north slowly. That’s the ridge of high pressure which will play a role in steering presumed future Barry. To the north, over Minnesota and Iowa, the yellow color beginning to dig south and east represents a trough in the upper atmosphere that will act to try and “pick up” Barry, drawing it to land. The ballet between these features, combined with where the storm eventually coalesces will determine whether this is indeed a Louisiana storm, as most modeling suggests, or if it could make its way far enough west toward Texas. We will learn much more about this overnight.
Where is that center?
Well, according to this tweet from one of the hurricane hunters, it’s still too broad to be easily defined:
— Jeremy DeHart (@JeremyDeHart53d) July 11, 2019
Based on the most recent observations from the aircraft out there this evening, however, they may finally be on to something near 27.5 N/87.5 W, or a little bit south and east of where the National Hurricane Center had been initializing things. If that is the case, that would not be drastically farther south than expected, meaning I would feel a smidge better about the “miss Houston to the east” scenario being realistic. That said, strange things can happen overnight, so let’s watch and see what’s what tomorrow morning.
A new batch of modeling comes out in the evening that we don’t use a ton, but we can still use to look for trends. Indeed, those models did trend back to the west a bit, but not as far as it looked this morning. What does this mean? Model consensus is still very much pointing toward a Louisiana landfall, keeping most impacts to our east. Thus we have no issues with the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
The NHC forecast for “Potential Tropical Cyclone Two” shows landfall between Cameron, LA and Vermilion Bay, but the cone obviously extends further to the eastern side of Houston on the left and east to near New Orleans on the right. Hurricane Watches were hoisted late today, extending from Cameron, LA east to the mouth of the Mississippi River. I would expect a tropical storm or hurricane watch to be extended west overnight, perhaps all the way to High Island, TX (northeast of Bolivar).
One word of note: If you have friends or relatives in the eastern half of Louisiana or your travels will take you through there between late Friday and Sunday morning, please make sure everyone is staying on top of the latest with this system. This has the potential to be a very serious rain and flooding event for that region, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
So for folks in Houston: You can go to sleep tonight knowing that no data this evening has increased our odds of being significantly impacted by this storm. But given a lingering degree of uncertainty, you absolutely will want to check back in on the forecast tomorrow morning to see what, if anything, may have changed overnight.
Eric has you covered in the AM, and I just want to offer him a mention of gratitude for stepping up to spell me so we can maintain continuous coverage through the storm.